Shares of manufacturing and transportation companies were more or less flat as traders hedged their bets on the outlook for economic legislation. An infrastructure-investment bill would give a big lift to sellers of construction equipment such as Caterpillar, which is already trading around a record high. But divisions between pro-growth and fiscally conservative Republicans could cause the bill to founder. The outlook for economic growth remains healthy in the eyes of some strategists, however. "The combination of improved business fundamentals and fiscal legislation should sustain momentum in the economy and equity markets in the coming year and potentially beyond," said John Lynch, chief investment strategist at brokerage LPL Financial, in a research note. "After years of depending on the largess of monetary policymakers, investors can now focus on fiscal levers that we believe will support consumption and spur new business investment over the next few years." Defense contractor Orbital ATK triggered national security concerns among White House officials by shifting to foreign purchases of an essential chemical the company and other Pentagon contractors use to power U.S. missiles and rockets, The Wall Street Journal reported.
-Rob Curran, firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 29, 2017 16:18 ET (21:18 GMT)